By Frederick Philander LUDERITZ The Deputy Prime Minister on Saturday called on Namibians to reject all divisive tendencies such as tribalism and ethnic marginalisation in all its forms and manifestations, and to focus on nation building. Dr Libertina Amathila was the keynote speaker at the commemoration of the death of Chief Cornelius Frederick and all the other people who died at the concentration camps on Shark Island at the hands of the German forces during the 1904-08 war, some 100 years ago. “Unity of purpose and patriotism are critical to achieve sustainable development for all our people, regardless of colour, race, ethnic or religious origin, social status or creed. Our ancestors, despite their small differences, demonstrated their unwavering love for this land. We all should make the flames of that love and loyalty burn brighter and continue to build on our colourful and diverse heritage.” The Deputy PM insisted that the spirit of selflessness and the equitable distribution of available resources be central to the quest for development in the country. “The State alone will not be able to single-handedly turn Namibia into a prosperous nation. Commemorations such as this must serve as platforms through which to consolidate our collective quest for sustained economic development. I urge you not to fail in this regard,” she said. She said collective efforts are needed for national socio-economic emancipation and empowerment. “We have made some significant strides, but more remains to be done in order to undo the economic exclusion inflicted upon us for so long. In this regard, the well-being and prosperity of all Namibians should be the common objective, not only of the government, but of all citizens across the country,” Amathila asserted. She added: “The ./Ama people chose to commemorate this historic occasion not by themselves alone, but have recognised the collective suffering and loss inflicted upon the San, the Damara and the Herero people by the same perpetrator, the German colonial authority. This sense of common national loss demonstrates the noble ideal of unity in diversity and a desire to build our nation for the common good of all Namibians.” Amathila said that through this commemorative event, Namibians must foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the brave and heroic acts of the Namas against the military and economic might of the German imperial administration. “This day further seeks to illustrate the undisputable resilience and persistence of the Nama against the German colonial government, despite the immense odds they faced. Indeed, the bravery and the resilience of the Nama warriors is the story of hope, faith and triumph of courage,” she praised. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the punishment meted out against the Nama prisoners was so brutal that German soldiers at the time referred to Shark Island as Angel of Death.
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